A good headset can make a big difference when playing games. Whether you like to get immersed in a game with the music or sound effects or need to hear every enemy footstep, choosing the right headphones for you can be quite a task. You should look at overall build quality, how comfortable they are, how they sound, and if the microphone sounds good. Most wired audiophile headphones will be a good option if you don't need a microphone.
We've tested over 770 headphones, and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headsets to buy. Also, see our recommendations for the best PS4 headsets, the best Xbox One headsets, the best PS5 headsets, and the best Xbox Series X/S headsets.
The best PC gaming headset we've tested is the Audeze Maxwell Wireless. These sturdy, feature-packed wireless headphones come in Xbox and PlayStation variants compatible with PCs. They stand out from many other gaming headsets because they use planar magnetic drivers, which helps them produce a more extended bass response and create a wider passive soundstage relative to dynamic driver headphones like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro.
Their default sound profile is neutral, so elements like footsteps, explosions, and voices in cutscenes are reproduced accurately. You can also use their app's EQ presets for sound customization. These headphones support Dolby Atmos, a virtual surround sound feature to make your listening experience more immersive. They come with a USB dongle with a low-latency connection, so your audio and video will stay in sync while gaming. You have plenty of options to connect to your console or PC.
The Audeze also support multi-device pairing, so you can hear audio from your phone via Bluetooth and your console simultaneously, as long as you use an analog or wired USB connection. For online gamers, the detachable boom mic offers great performance. It makes your voice sound clear and understandable, and the mic has outstanding noise handling, so it won't be drowned out by noise in the background. However, these headphones are often back-ordered and can be difficult to get a hold of.
The Logitech G PRO X 2 LIGHTSPEED Wireless is the best headset for gaming we've tested at this price point. Unlike the Audeze Maxwell Wireless, these comfortable cans don't come in console-specific variants and are designed with PC gaming in mind. Their USB dongle ensures a low-latency gaming experience, ensuring that audio and visuals stay in sync. They also support Bluetooth, which is a step up from their predecessor. However, they can only be connected to one device at a time this way, even if you're also using the dongle or analog cable.
Their bass-heavy sound makes gameplay feel more exciting without drowning out vocals. Their 97-hour battery life can easily handle many days' worth of gaming before needing a recharge, while their dongle ensures that your audio and visuals stay in sync. If you like to game with others, their detachable boom mic also separates your voice from background noise very well, so speech is heard clearly.
Unfortunately, their recording quality is just okay, and your voice sounds unnatural to whoever's on the other end of the line. If you're looking for headphones with better recording quality, try the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro. The boom mic on these wired-only cans captures clear and natural-sounding speech. They even come with a GameDAC that puts controls like EQ and channel mixing at your fingertips. However, they aren't as comfortable or well-built as the Logitech.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless are the best headphones we've tested for gaming in the mid-range. Their wireless USB dongle provides low enough latency for gaming, so your audio and video won't be out of sync. Similar to the previous picks, they have a bass-rich sound profile with a well-balanced mid-range, so voices are present and clear but can also sound veiled and lack detail. Fortunately, the app features a graphic EQ and presets for sound customization.
While they don't last as long continuously as the Logitech G PRO X 2 LIGHTSPEED Wireless, their roughly 30-hour battery life will still get you through long dungeon crawls. You can also use them wired in a pinch. They have a high noise floor while monitoring your voice, and while that's a downside if you play a lot of multiplayer games, the mic still makes your voice sound clear and natural.
These headphones also support Bluetooth, which allows you to mix chat audio or music from your phone and game audio. They also come in a few variants for different consoles. We tested the 7X variant, which is meant for Xbox but can also connect with PlayStation using the USB dongle, although any changes you made in the app, like sound customizations, won't apply. The 7 and 7P variants don't support a wireless connection with Xbox but might be the better choice if you only use a PC or PlayStation.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly headset for gaming, check out the Logitech G535 LIGHTSPEED Wireless. These inexpensive headphones are missing some of the previous picks' helpful features, like Bluetooth, a wired connection, and Xbox compatibility. However, if you're a PlayStation gamer or looking for a budget PC gaming headset, they're worth a look, thanks to their wireless dongle, which provides a low latency connection for gaming.
Their default sound lacks low bass, so your audio is missing some thump and rumble. There's some overemphasis in the high-bass range that adds warmth and punch, which can help bring out sound effects like footsteps in games. They work with companion software that includes a graphic EQ with sound presets and virtual surround sound features that can help create a more immersive listening experience. However, if you use the mic often when gaming, remember that it doesn't have the best performance and makes your voice sound thin compared to the pricier headphones here.
The best gaming headphones we've tested for those on a budget is the Logitech G432. A reputable brand like Logitech can be a safe bet if you care about quality and durability, as lower-priced models on the market can have glaring flaws like driver mismatches and faulty frames. Unlike the Logitech G535 LIGHTSPEED Wireless, the G432 are wired-only but still offer a solid performance rivaling more expensive wireless models. These headphones also have a good mic performance, so your voice is easily understood when gaming with friends. Their lightweight, comfortable fit is suitable for long gaming sessions as well.
Their sound profile is light on bass, which isn't ideal for action-packed games, but you can customize it with a graphic EQ and presets in their companion app. Their wired USΒ dongle provides a low latency connection and works with PlayStation consoles, but it's incompatible with Xbox. You can still use the headphones with these consoles if you plug them into a controller, but it'll mean you can't use applied changes made in the EQ via the companion app.
The best cheap gaming headset we've tested is the Logitech G435 LIGHTSPEED Wireless. Logitech manufactures a solid lineup of low-cost gaming headphones that perform very well. In the case of the G435, their plastic frame isn't the sturdiest, but they have decently low latency over both Bluetooth and their wireless USB dongle. They also have a slightly warm sound profile with extra bass to make explosions and footsteps more prominent in the mix. Dialogue and instruments also sound bright and present, but you can't adjust their sound to your preferences since they don't have an EQ.
They also have poor passive noise isolation performance and will let in a lot of noise and leak a lot of game audio to those around you. Fortunately, their mic makes your voice sound bright and clear, though a little unnatural, and their nearly 20-hour battery will last you through several play sessions. While these features make this the best PC gaming headset and the best for PlayStation consoles we've tested at this price range, this model isn't compatible with Xbox consoles.
The best open-back gaming headset we've tested is the Drop + Sennheiser/EPOS PC38X. These wired headphones are around the same price as the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless, but you might prefer them if you like your game audio to be as immersive as possible. They're well-built and comfortable to wear, with a choice of either microfiber or velour ear cup padding. They also have a boom mic that makes your voice sound natural and full-bodied during multiplayer games. While they lack a bit of low bass, they have a well-balanced sound profile suitable for action-packed games or dialogue-heavy cutscenes. However, they aren't ideal for use in a noisy or shared space since they don't block out ambient sound, and they leak a lot of audio by design.
Their open design helps them create a soundstage that seems wider and more spacious than the closed-back options on this list. However, if you're looking for open-back gaming headphones with an even more immersive soundstage, it's worth checking out the Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO. These well-built headphones have a swappable cable design that lets you switch between a TRRS cable with a mic and a regular TRS cable, depending on your preferences. However, they're not as comfortable as the Drop + Sennheiser, and their overall sound profile isn't as neutral.
Nov 23, 2023: We've added the Corsair VIRTUOSO PRO as an in-text alternative for the 'Best Open-Back Gaming Headset' pick. We've made minor changes to the text and ensured all products are still in stock.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (cheaper headphones win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our headphones reviews, sorted by their wireless gaming performance. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you don't care about having a microphone or wireless features.